4th Annual Bull Burger Battle - Saturday, August 6th 2016

Click here to attend the San Diego Burger Battle on Aug 6th 2016

Click here to sign up for the San Diego Burger Battle on Aug 6th 2016

Click here for videos and photos of past San Diego Burger Battles

The San Diego Burger Battle is a qualifying event for the World Food Championships where you could win your share of over $350,000 in prize money!


2016 Competitors and Judges

Every year, the competition just keeps getting better. We have had everyone from backyard grillers to professional chefs to world class bbq teams to home cooks. Take a look at who is in this year's San Diego Burger Battle. More bios will be posted as they come in.


Danny Dangoor

Chef Dangoor has been cooking for 16 years, starting his career in Las Vegas working at the world finest hotels - Wynn, Bellagio and Venetian. After 8 years in Las Vegas Chef Dangoor returned to Beverly Hills to focus on celebrity events. He has cooked at the Grammy's, Oscars, Emmy's, movie premier parties and celebrity weddings. Chef Dangoor is no stranger to the competitive world as he has competed in many food and liquor competitions in Las Vegas. You'll know you're eating his food, right when you bite into his burger you'll be saying, OMG, WTH is this, I need to sit down, give me a sec, I can't breath, wait don't talk to me, oh lord, yes and mmmmmmmm.

Dennis McGrath


The Porketeers are a dynamic competition BBQ team. This is our fourth year competing in the Bull Burger Battle. Our first year we were honored to win 1st place in San Diego and 3rd Overall at the World Food Championships in Las Vegas. Dennis, AKA BBQMaster, has been in the restaurant business all of his life and has a BBQ catering business BBQ2U. BBQ is his passion and he even went on a self-guided BBQ tour of Texas (if you ask him he may show you the tattoo). Sherry met BBQMaster on MySpace and was convinced by her friends to accept his friend request after seeing all of the yummy pictures of BBQ on his page. They have now married and are a happy BBQing couple. We had a great time representing Tem Bull the past 3 years, now we are ready to bring it for the fourth time. We want to thank everyone who supported us and made competing so enjoyable for us. See ya on the competition circuit and if you see us stop by and say hi. We are F.U.N. 

2016 San Diego Burger Battle Competitor Jasmin Stewart-Harbin

Jasmin Stewart-Harbin

I'm Jasmin Stewart-Harbin.  I'm a stay at home Wife & a Mom of one. I'm a Mom a that loves to cook, grill, and bake.  My passion for cooking came from my Mother and my Grandma.  They were both great cooks and in the catering business (they taught me well).  I cook with love and passion and I serve it to you on the plate! Cooking has given me some amazing opportunities like meeting Chef Emeril, competing on two cooking shows and most of all connecting with my family.  I hope to bring the best Burger to this competition and take home that first prize!

Jeremy Putts

Devil Dogs BBQ

Growing up in the South, I had to start cooking when I was knee high to a grasshopper.  I learned many different cooking techniques from stove top to cooking bacon and eggs in a paper bag over a bed of coals.  After high school, I did a 20 year stint in the Marine Corps.  During that time, I started to perfect my BBQ cooking for my fellow Marines.  Once I retired, I started Devil Dogs BBQ.  We did catering and serving at some of the breweries in North County.  After about a year or so of doing that, I moved into a food truck.  Currently you can find me in my food truck all over San Diego County.

Jim Young

Big Red BBQ

Big Red BBQ is a bbq team that has been participating in KCBS bar-b-que competitions for the last 6 years.  In that time we have established a name for ourselves in the local bbq circuit.  This past year has been outstanding for Big Red and we would like to top it off with a Bull Burger Challenge win and a trip to Tennessee. 

Kelly Lucas-Shippey

Kelly Lucas-Shippey is an award winning competitive cook. She has been a competitor since 2011 and has had a major win every year. She does cooking demonstrations for live audiences of both modern recipes and historic recipes. She has a historic cooking blog and historic cooking show that can be found at www.FreshHotHistory.com. You can follow her on face book at Fresh Hot History and see interesting food facts from history! She is inspired by the past and finds that history can come alive through tasting food prepared from that time. Kelly is excited to be competing again in the San Diego BULL Burger Battle this year, after taking home the trophy in 2014 and winning the coveted team spot on Team BULL for the 2014 World Food Championships! Last year she enjoyed serving as a judge for the 2015 BULL Burger Battle. This year she plans to have fun and cook her heart out to present the best burger!

Kurt Metzger

Metzger describes his style of cooking as "ingredient-inspired and ingredient-driven" Since age 28, Kurt Metzger had already made a big impact on Los Angeles and San Diego fine dining scene and continues to receive national attention for his catering and successful farm to table restaurant. As one of the top San Diego chefs, Metzger's vibrant, simple flavors that draw on products from Southern California's exceptional farmers have captivated diners and critics alike.

2016 San Diego Burger Battle Competitor Kyle Matuszewski

Kyle Matuszewski

We are a father and son team. Been competing on the KCBS BBQ circuit for 4 years. Have done many contest and Grilling contests all over the country.

L.J. Washington

L. J. Washington, an I.C.U. nurse living in Carpinteria, CA, owns a cooking style rooted in her hometown of New Orleans. She has won the Santa Barbara Independent Sandwich Showdown in 2012 which she won against two professional sandwich chefs. She also adds grill master to her accomplishments by winning the 2012 KEYT TV News Backyard Barbecue. In 2014 she won the Carpinteria Chili Cook-off and was featured in that years winter edition of Carpinteria Magazine. L.J. is a two-time finalist competing in BBQ in Santa Barbara and also appeared on the Today Show Father's Day Burger Battle as a finalist in New York City which aired June 2013 with Giada De Laurentiis as guest judge. She has been a competitor at the World Food Championships for the past three years making top ten in the Sandwich Division two years in a row.

2016 San Diego Burger Battle Competitor Mark Masker

Mark Masker

Mark Masker is a freelance writer specializing in motorcycles, barbecue, and chile peppers. His love of all three goes back to his college days and has stayed with him ever since. Shortly after making his own barbecue smoker and custom painting it, he started curing and smoking his own bacon. He now competes in whatever food events he can and loves it.

2016 San Diego Burger Battle Competitor Mary Edwards

Mary Edwards

I am a home cook and a grandmother with a full time job who stumbled across the world of competitive cooking some years back and have taken it up as a great hobby. As a result, I have won cash, prizes and wonderful trips, and even more rewarding have made life long friends. I have qualified and competed in the World Food Championship for the past four years and would love the opportunity to compete again this year in the Burger division.

Pam Deem

Pam Deem began her career as a competitive cook several years ago. Inspired by her passion for cooking, Pam has participated in many culinary events both as a cook and as a judge. Awards include San Gennaro Sauce Competition and along with David Lomme, the Grilled Cheese Invitational Judge’s Award. David has a background in catering, food competition and entertainment. Both Pam and David are dedicated KCBS Certified Barbecue Judges and attend multiple BBQ competitions and events annually. Pam and David enjoy food events and the food sport community and can be found every weekend at a fair, contest or festival. In 2015 Pam launched the Facebook blog “Live A Tasty Life” featuring recipes, food and travel information. In addition to competition cooking, blogging and judging BBQ, Pam has been a Judge at The World Food Championships for Chili and Recipes. She and David are seeking the “Golden Ticket” and plan to return this year as competitors at the WFC on Team Bull. The San Diego Bull Burger Battle is an annual event for Pam and David and they look forward to winning this year’s competition!

Pam Gram

Chef and manager of The Pit Stop BBQ, LLC, Pam Gram has been a BBQer since 2001 when she got an Oklahoma Joe as a birthday present. Taking a BBQ class from Paul Kirk and Dr. BBQ, Ray Lampe, Pam started competing with her partner for 4 years in the BBQ competition circuit. She was asked to cater an event for her daughter's school from friends that knew she BBQ'd but wanted tropical food for their event. After a tasting she was hired, feed 300 people and donated $822.88 back to the school from money not spent on the cost of food. It was from that event, Pam changed careers and became a full-time cater. You can follow the events of Pam and The Pit Stop BBQ on Facebook.

2016 San Diego Burger Battle Competitor Ramon Douglas

Ramon Douglas

My name is Ramon Douglas and I am a California native and graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School in Pasadena, CA. I am also part owner of Ravishing Farrago Catering, with my business partner and friend Felix Johnson. I love making and eating delicious burgers. When I am not cooking, I enjoy spending time outdoors, hiking, camping, and taking photographs.

Rick McDonald

We are a father-daughter team who both love to cook. We have been doing the San Diego Burger Battle since its inception in 2012. The competition has gotten tougher every year and that forces us (back yard joes) to elevate our game, which just makes us better cooks, and everybody benefits from it. So we say to the competitors this year, Bring It On.

Ron Otto

Daddy O's BBQ

Has won awards for bbq as well as  sauces in national competitions Owns a arsenal of smokers and grills Study's the history of barbecue and collects Vintage bbq books Has traveled and tasted barbecue throughout the United States Also a vintage motorcycle Enthusiast.

Scott Shimano

Scott Shimano and James B. Hare are each Kansas City Barbecue Society Master Certified BBQ Judges, and are also competitors.  When outside the judging "tent", they lead their individual teams, Green Card Q and Cucamonga Cattle Company.  Their interests in food go beyond Chicken, Ribs, Pork and Brisket.  Scott is an occasional vendor at craft shows, selling his homemade jams, jellies and condiments, plus recently won 1st place at the National Orange Show Fair baking contest.  James is an entrepreneur, and the driving force behind his rub/sauce business, Cucamonga Cattle Company (www.cucacattleco.com), which was recognized in 2016 by the National Barbecue Association with an Award of Excellence for his "Prairie Dust" rub.

Traci Johnson

Traci Johnson is a baker and chef from San Diego California. She has had a passion for culinary and baking since 1997. Her passion started in elementary school where she volunteered her time in the school kitchen. Her passion for food has also lead her to work for many top establishments such as Jimbos Naturally, Circus Circus Hotel and Casino, and the Firefly at the Dana Inn. She attended and graduated top of her class from The Art Institute of San Diego with a degree in culinary science. Currently she's a baking and pastry instructor at San Diego continuing education.



It's difficult to find judges who really know how to identify the best of the best, but we nailed it this year. Check out this talent pool:

Alex Morrison


Owner/Chef - Craft Burger and Perfect Pairings

Acting as chef, sommelier and restaurateur, Alex wears many hats in the day to day operation of his Carlsbad restaurant.  He is committed to the use of local, seasonal produce, and insists on all natural ingredients.  Knowing where our food comes from, and supporting our community is of paramount importance, and is a philosophy that will always be in place.
His diverse background includes over a decade as a professional hockey referee, music performance, event management (even at the Super Bowl), and voice over/announcing work.  He has been able to travel across North America and around Europe with these different opportunities, giving him the chance to experience various foods and cultures, making for a more well rounded skill set as a chef.

Austin Lorber

Fratelli's Italian Kitchen

I grew up here in San Diego and studied history at UC Santa Cruz. I worked in the service industry after college starting bussing tables, serving, expediting, managing and my brother and I eventually decided to take the leap into opening up our own spot. We own/operate Fratelli's Italian Kitchen in Oceanside and have been in business since July 5, 2011. I am not a trained chef but have learned my way around the kitchen over the years and absolutely love cooking and enjoying good food in general. I spend most of my time fishing, surfing, golfing etc. Basically anything outdoors.


Chad Ward

Traeger Grills

Chad Ward is pit master of the award winning Whiskey Bent BBQ and Director of BBQ Marketing for Traeger Grills. Whiskey Bent BBQ is a competitive BBQ team has 7 state championships, 5 reserve state championships and over 200 top 10 overall and category finishes. They have finished 6th, 5th and 3rd in the BBQ division at the World Food Championships in November of 2013, 2014 & 2015 and has already qualified for the 2016 event. Chad has television appearances on Chopped, Food Fighters, World Food Championships and the Travel Channel.

Chad is the host of Whiskey Bent “In the Pit,” a weekly BBQ video show on outdoorcookingchannel.com, where he talks competition BBQ with guests and provides tips of the trade for BBQ cooks of all levels. The show receives over 50,000 listeners annually and is one of the top ranked food shows. He also teaches BBQ and grilling classes all over the country sharing his passion and skills with others.

Chad also owns a brick and mortar BBQ Supply Store in Lakeland, FL that opened in September of 2013 offering grills, classes, smokers, marinades, rubs, sauces and all the other essentials to make great BBQ. Whiskey Bent BBQ Supply opened its first franchise location in February 2016 in Odessa, FL. Chad also has an online store, wbbbqsupply.com, where they service their customers from all over the country.


Elvin Jiles

KCBS Master Judge

Erick Gordon

Stone Brewing Retail Beer Manager

Erick brings 10 years of experience from the local brewing industry and is an amateur pit master at home (and at the tailgate). He is passionate for anything BBQ and is called upon to be an “unofficial” taste developer for Stone Brewing BBQ and hot sauces.  Dubbed Beer Commissioner Gordon, he is a certified beer server and can pair the perfect beer with that perfect burger.

Greg Lukasiewicz

Bull Taco

  • Greg was born and raised in Los Angeles and started his food career in a pizza restaurant in a mall at 17 years old. From there, he went on to buss, cook, serve, and manage in over a dozen different restaurants, including some of the top Zagat- rated restaurants in LA. In 1996, he opened his first restaurant, Restaurant Devon, followed by Fish Mama (1999), Restaurant Halie (2000), Camp Store Burgers (2006), Bull Taco (2007) Pandora's Pizza (2012), Wrench and Rodent Seabasstropub (2013), Rooster Ramen Pop Up (2016), and Fish Mama Oceanside (Coming Soon). His early restaurants were at the forefront of the foraging, farm-to-table, and molecular gastronomy scenes in the mid-1990's Los Angeles, and while he's scaled back on the caliber of dining from gourmet French to gourmet tacos, his innovative food still brings something new and delicious to the table. 

Jeff Rossman

Keith Fournier

Owner of Partake Gastropub in Vista

Retired Paramedic of 20 years who turned his love of eating, drinking, and cooking into opening Partake Gastropub in Vista California in March of 2015.  With about 15 wines by the glass and 8 beers on tap that all change monthly and a food style that is homey and recognizable but made with a Partake twist and all scratch made.

Lance Toro

Grill Innovations

I have spent over 25 yrs as a professional chef , In that time I've held numerous positions that include Executive Chef , Culinary Instructor, and the last 19 yrs Private chef to the Los Angeles Elite, Such as Jerry Moss, Christina Aguilera, Jerry Bruckheimer, Ellen Degeneres and currently Private chef Jaclyn Smith and Dr Brad Allen. My culinary interests range from Classical cuisine Italian,Hispanic, Asian, American Regional, Comfort food,and BBQ.

Pete Aragon

KCBS Master Judge

Pete Aragon is a Master Certified Barbeque Judge with the Kansas City BBQ Society and is a member of the California BBQ Association.  He has been judging BBQ with his wife Sherry since 2010 and has judged contests throughout California, Nevada, and Arizona.  He competitively cooks against himself under the team name "Flying Buddha BBQ.

Roddy Browning

Flying Pig Pub & Kitchen

I started my first restaurant job when I was 15. A place called Burger Boy in Cedar Crest New Mexico. I was the clean up boy and eventually cooked. I then moved to Santa Fe NM and worked in a few restaurants and became a prep cook in a wonderful Italian place call Julian'sfor a couple years. I fell in love with food work there. I still to this day make a few dishes from that menu. I then moved to Albuquerque NM and worked in a place called Stephens on the line and bussed tables. I then moved to Tucson AZ worked in a few places as a busboy and met an inspiring man by the name of Regan Jasper. He opened my eyes to the world of wine. I pursued my wine education and started working for a very talented Sommelier, Dale Sparks. He pushed me to become a Sommelier as I worked for his company as a fine wine distributor. I then moved to San Diego ended up back waiting tables and working for Carl Schroder of Market Restaurant and Bar under Brian Donegan. Learning about farm to table from Carl and taking my wine studies to become a certified Sommelier under Brian. In 2011 I took a chance with my wife Aaron and we open the Flying Pig Pub & Kitchen in Oceanside California. Now five years later we now have our second location of the Flying Pig in Vista California.

Tore Trupiano

Dominic's at the Harbor

Tore’s big break happened when he opened up a box of cracker jacks and found a culinary degree. That was a sure tell sign, plus the clusters of popcorn and peanuts are always a bonus. Pizza Festiva is the place we ought to be, so we loaded up the truck and competed in Las Vegas.  Divisional winner in 1995 with a BBQ Chicken Pizza, 1996 with a breakfast pizza, and 2008 with the Mardi Gras Pizza.  In 2010 Tore decided that there was more to cooking than Italian cuisine and pizza. A food truck that featured freshly smoked meats. Tore found a new love, pork, brisket, chicken, and the other main meat, bacon. Mastering the art of smoking was a fun activity that quickly turned into passion. There is always a way to deconstruct, twist, flip, and turn a basic traditional dish and make it a wild dripping off the walls culinary piece of art.


The San Diego Burger Battle is brought to you by Carddine Spas & Grills, Bull BBQ and the World Food Championships.



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